Tag Archives: Beauty

Underlying Causes Of Skin Discoloration

Woman checking face at mirror

Hyper: as a prefix, it means over, excessive, above or beyond. Pigmentation: The coloration of tissues by pigment. Put them together and you get hyperpigmentation, the excessive discoloration of skin tissues by pigment.

When it comes to what women want in terms of the appearance of their skin, even tone and uniform color usually top the list. So what can you do if factors come into play that prevents you from having the ideal skin tone? When it comes to correcting hyperpigmentation, the first step is knowing how it is caused.

Acne Related

  1. Cause: When acne is the cause of discoloration, the symptoms can often show up long after the blemish is gone. Inflammation is an unavoidable part of acne and the more inflamed the blemish is, the greater the risk of scarring. Although inflammation can be a desirable bodily response to help the pimple fade and heal, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) can occur. While PIH does not affect the texture of the skin, it can cause discoloration, which can take a while to fade.
  2. Solution: The best cure for acne related hyperpigmentation is a topical product that lightens and brightens. Glycolic masks, hydroquinone, salicylic acid, and retinol can all help to reduce dark spots; chemical peels can be effective and, if the spots are red and flat, you may want to consider redness reducing laser treatment.

Sun Related

  1. Cause: If your hyperpigmentation is sun related, it is caused by the deposits of melanin on the skin produced by UV rays. The resulting spots occur on the face, hands, and chest and are usually light to dark brown and can make skin look much more mature than it is.
  2. Solution: Retinoid, IPL, and fractional laser treatments are the best ways to deal with sun-related discoloration. IPL sends a beam of light through skin that seeks out melanin. As the light is absorbed, it breaks the pigment up, making it less visible. A series of treatments are necessary to make a noticeable difference. In fractional laser resurfacing, lasers send a beam of fractioned energy to initiate a wound healing response to correct hyperpigmentation.

Hormone Related

  1. Cause: Birth control, pregnancy, and menopause can all lead to a spike in production of melanin. In fact, many doctors correlate the rise in hyperpigmentation to increased prescription of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. The hormone surge, along with sun exposure causes the skin to darken.
  2. Solution: Hydroquinone and retin-A are the most commonly prescribed treatments prescribed by doctors to treat hyperpigmentation, salicylic, glycol, and lactic peels can also be effective, as can IPL and the use of vitamin C based products.

If you are suffering from skin discoloration, let us know how you deal with it. What is the most effective method for fighting hyperpigmentation?

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Give These Summer Skincare Tips A Try

The day of reckoning has come. The days are getting longer and the shorts are getting shorter. It’s time to unveil all those parts of the body that you’ve been referring to as the “nether regions” this past winter, and that means your skin has to be up to the task. How are you going to get your pasty legs “Daisy Duke” ready in time to hit the beach? No problem! Just dust off that razor, toss out the old sunscreen, and get ready to glow crazy.

Exfoliate
Your body is a skin cell shedding machine. You need to get rid of all those dead cells before they end up collecting on your skin, making it look dull and dry. Lotions is not enough. You need to grab a good body scrub and high tail it to the shower, now! Rub the exfoliator over your body in circular movements and rinse. Do this 2-3 times a week to keep skin soft and smooth.

Shave the Right Way
If you haven’t been exactly diligent about your shaving practices last winter, its time to pay the piper. Find a good razor that won’t cause razor burn and invest in a good women’s shaving lotion with moisturizers. If you find yourself without lotion, hair conditioners will do in a pinch.

Use A Summer Scented Lotion
You don’t want to just look like summer, you want to smell like it too. Get the full effect with a light fast absorbing summery gel or spray. Coconut and mango scents absolutely bespeak of summer. Make sure to apply right after drying off from the shower to seal in moisture.

Give These Summer Skincare Tips A Try

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Safe Summer Glow
It may seem hard to believe that less than 40 years ago, people spent their summers basking in the sun hoping to catch some color. Nowadays, we have to seek our glow from containers. Sunless tanners are a great option for giving your skin a glow this summer. You can also alternate your usual facial moisturizer with a tinted one to build gradual color, giving the effect of an effortlessly maintained tan all summer long.

Feet
Time to switch out those winter boots for your slinky sandals? An at home pedicure may be on the agenda. Use a foot scrub and file to scrub off dry, dead skin a few times a week. Products with ADA acids will add some exfoliating action to your pedi, making your feet sandal ready.

Nail Polish
While you’re working on those feet, you may want to polish those toenails. You can go for something bolder on the toes than the fingernails, and its bound to stay on for a lot longer because we don’t clean our houses with our feet. Just apply a base coat, two coats of color, and a clear top coat for protection. Go barefoot for a few hours to let polish set.

New Sunscreen
The importance of a good sunscreen cannot be overstated in the summer months. Using last year’s unused sunscreen is not going to cut it. Be safe and buy a new bottle and use it. You should apply a shot glass sized amount of sunscreen to your body and a full teaspoon for just the face and neck area. Reapply every 1 to 2 hours. Be sure to look for something with broad spectrum protection and an SPF of at least 30.

How are you getting your glow on this summer? Let us know your favorite summer glow to-s.

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Caffeine’s Effects On Your Skin

Judging from the lines at Starbucks, people sure like the effects of coffee. It seems that coffee companies cannot find enough ways of incorporating the bean into new drinks. Just when you think you finally figured out the difference between a mocha chino and macchiato, a new drink appears with lines of people ready to dole out their hard-earned cash for the latest blast of caffeine infused sweetness. And while these consumers may be giving themselves an extra pat on the back for the not so recent evidence of coffee’s antioxidant properties, they may be less enamored to hear of how the brew actually affects the skin.

Woman drinking coffee

Tannins
Tannin is a chemical present in coffee and tea. If the knowledge that tannin is used in tanneries to process leather isn’t enough to convince you that it’s not something you want in your coffee, consider its effects on your skin. Tannins prevent the pores of cells from receiving nutrients. Other things that make tannin such a great leather treatment, and a such a lousy skin treatment, are its hydration removal properties, which can make skin brittle over time.

Liver Spots
Liver spots are a common skin problem for older people. The liver functions as a filter to purify your blood, allowing cells to receive essential nutrients and oxygen. Over the long term, coffee can block the liver with toxins, preventing it from doing its job. The impurities in the blood result in high levels of liver congestion and toxicity which can result in the appearance of the dreaded liver spot, according to Chet Day’s Health and Beyond Online.

Dehydration
Not only does the tannin contribute to skin dehydration, the caffeine in the coffee acts like a diuretic in high amounts, furthering the dehydrating effects. Diuretics cause increased urination which dries out your skin and your body. Although a few cups of Joe a day may not dry you out too badly, try to keep your intake to under 4 cups to avoid problems.

Woman drinking coffee indoors

Acne
Ok, so the word is still out on the acne-caffeine connection, but it seems to be the opinion of most experts that, while caffeine may not cause acne, it could exacerbate an already existing condition, according to AbsoluteAcneInfo.com. The toxic effects of coffee on the liver may also contribute to acne because the caffeine can block the liver from purifying blood, which may taint skin cells.

Topical Use Of Caffeine
Why, you may be wondering, if coffee is so bad for the skin, is it a common ingredient in skin care products? Well, it turns out that the antioxidant properties in caffeine make it an effective anti-ager and its ability to constrict small blood vessels and reduce inflammation can help minimize sagging skin and dark circles under the eyes. Caffeine’s anti- inflammatory qualities often aid in reducing the appearance of cellulite and its dehydrating abilities help to draw excess fluids from fat cells.

So the upshot? When it comes to caffeine and your skin, put it on you, not in you. Let us know what you think? Is the caffeine withdrawal worth the potential skin benefits?

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Makeup Tips To Keep You Selfie Ready

It used to be that you had to look your best because you never knew when a photo op would come up. You might be out at a nightclub, or a party, when suddenly someone with a camera would pop up looking to take your picture, so you had to ensure you were always photo-ready. Now, with the advent of the selfie, things have changed. These days, you never know when you might pop up wanting to take a picture of yourself. Just when you least expect it, there you’ll be with the selfie stick, ready to click away. That’s why you always need to be prepared for the occasion with the proper makeup. Here are some great expert selfie makeup tips.

Woman taking a selfie

Selfie Analysis
According to Courtney Rubin, author of “Makeup for the Selfie Generation,” “Most makeup companies have products that play with light, offering photo finishes or airbrush effects that claim to make wearers camera ready. But a handful of brands are beginning to design and tweak their wares to stand up to the specific challenges of phone photography–among them, that a flash can make foundation look white, or that in daylight selfies, cool colors can look warmer.

In preparation for his book, “#beautiful” makeup artist and lead makeup artist for “Project Runway,” Luis Casco analyzed about 8,000 selfies of 26 women of various ages and ethnicities to find the best makeup application for a good selfie.

Here are some tips from Mr. Casco

  1. Since dry flaky lips commonly plague selfies, Mr. casco suggests using a lip exfoliator before applying lip product.
  2. Mr. Casco also recommends mixing shades of eyeliner to create effects. He notes that a touch of purple can make brown eyes appear clearer and that a hint of gold “makes the eyes twinkle.”
  3. To get the most flattering shot, lift the camera to a 45-degree angle to sharpen the jaw line and make eyes look wider. Casco notes this is particularly helpful in avoiding a raccoon eye effect while wearing dark eye makeup. The trick is to bring the chin down and the camera up.
  4. To avoid pale skin in the daylight, Mr. Casco recommends products that contour the face without looking caked on. He suggests CC creams that blend easily and are not obviously pigmented for a natural healthy radiance.
  5. When taking a selfie at night with a flash, a real life shimmer can translate to oily skin on camera. Casco suggests a translucent powder to make skin feel soft and extra blotting sheets to absorb oil, particularly in the T-zone.

Woman taking selfie

Selfie Ready Foundations
Another way of avoiding the oily sheen associated with selfies is by choosing a mattifying foundation with oil absorbing features.

Stand Out Eyes
When it comes to eyes, the best thing to do is to keep it basic. While bold and theatrical looks can be great, they often don’t photograph well without proper lighting. For photo ready eyes, prime with black mascara, nude shadow, and a bit of a cat eye.

Whiter Teeth
For a quick tooth whitener, munching on some raw veggies can actually help remove stains from teeth. If your looking for a cosmetic solution, stained teeth can be concealed by wearing a bright lip color with blue undertones.

Bold Lips
If your selfies are looking washed out, it may be time to turn up your lipstick a few shades. Look for high-pigment formulas which tend to last longer than other shades and be sure to take your skin tone into account when choosing a color.

How do you keep selfie-ready? Let us know your favorite ways of alway ensuring an image you will be proud to display!

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The Best Spring Colors For Your Skin Tone

Colors can be very attractive, but as much as you like them in the makeup palette, they may not be the most flattering colors for you. So, in the spirit of saving you some heartache, and sparing you from unnecessary purchases, here’s the skinny on finding the right spring color for your skin tone.

Here’s The Deal
Your skin has undertones. They may not be very apparent, but they come out when you hold another color up to it. That’s why certain colors can make you look gorgeous and others can make you look like you’ve just eaten something disagreeable. To tell which colors best complement your skin tone, you need to first establish what your skin tone is. Take off your makeup and try a drape test to figure it out.

Cool skin tone

Cool
Are you on of the cool kids? If your hair is blonde, ash brown, dark brown, or black, and your skin has pink undertones, you are! Still not sure? Hold up some springy royal blues and bright pinks and basic blacks and whites to your face. Look good? You’re cool!

Light cool
If your hair has a light ashy tone, and your skin is pale with pink undertones, you may be cool light, or light cool. To make sure, hold up some light blues, pinks, and lavenders. If they flatter, you’re light cool.

Warm
If you’ve gone for strawberry blond tints and your skin tans well, it’s all about orange. If orange makes you look radiant, you’re getting warm.

Warm skin

Light Warm
If you’ve got a reddish tint but your skin is fair, or you have darker skin with a peachy glow, then oranges, greens and browns may be overwhelming. Try beachy spring corals, beiges and peaches instead. If they make your eyes pop, you’re a light warm.

Your Best Spring Colors
So now that you know what skin tone you have, here are a few colors you may want to include in your springtime wardrobe.

Orchid
Cool tones, rejoice. Your color for the spring is a radiant orchid. Whether it be maxi dress, flirty sandals or blouses, be sure to include this standout jewel tone in your spring collection.

Lavender

Soft Lavender
Light cool tones will want to find themselves draped in soft lavender this spring. Don a lavender sun dress for some fairy tale spring inspiration and make this pastel your signature color this season.

Cayenne Pink
Warm tones will find the yellow and orange undertones in coral pink great complements to your golden skin tones. A standout color on the spring fashion runways, cayenne pink is going to be huge this year, and it’s going to look terrific on you.

Woman in yellow dress

Lemon Yellow
When life hands you “lemon,” wear it! Nothing says spring quite like a warm, buttery yellow and it’s just the thing for light and warm tones this year. Light warms will do best with lighter desaturated yellow, while true warms can go for the bold canary colors. Get your yellow on in sunnies, skirts/ and platform heels for some fun in the sun this spring.

So which skin tone are you? Whether you’re cooling off or warming up for the spring, we want to hear all about you’re fashion adventures. Please keep us posted.

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Streamline Your Beauty Routine

If you keep apprised on beauty news, you’ve probably been intrigued by the 10-step beauty routine. While it is hard to deny the apparent agelessness of Korean skin, keep in mind that Koreans prepare for this from an early age. While Western children are learning how to consolidate their earnings and 401Ks, Korean children are busy learning how and when to apply their essences and ampoules and the benefits of the double cleanse.

Woman smiling in nature

True, modern Western women do need to be concerned about their skin, but they also need to be concerned about being superheroes, and sometimes that doesn’t leave time for a ten-step beauty program. If we’re going to multitask, why shouldn’t we ask the same of our beauty products? Here are some ways of streamlining your beauty routine for maximum beauty with minimum energy.

All In One Cleanser
Eliminate the need for multiple products by purchasing and all in one cleanser. Find a whole family friendly soap in a neutral scent to act as a shampoo, bubble bath and body wash.

Dry Shampoo
Need to clean, but have no time to wash and style. Spray some dry shampoo into your roots to absorb excess oil. You can also boost volume by massaging dry shampoo into your roots with your fingers to add a little texture to fine, thin hair.

Eye pencil

Jumbo Eye Pencil
Avoid the hassle of separate shadows, liners, and highlighter. Use a bronze or nude jumbo eyeliner crayon to do triple duty. Use it as an eyeshadow by coloring lids from crease to lash line and then contour cheeks by drawing a light line just below your cheekbones and blending back toward your hairline.

Triple Nutrition Oil
A blend of natural oils. like olive, almond, and avocado, can work on your dry skin and your flaky scalp. Use it head to toe for great skin and lustrous hair.

Tinted Lip Balm
Just one tube of tinted lip balm can bring color to your cheeks and lips. Just dab a little on the apples of your cheeks and blend with your fingertips for a natural, rosy tone.

Tinted lip balm

Complexion Correction Perfection
Surpass your basic lightweight foundation by using one which incorporates an anti-aging complex with a broad spectrum SPF to protect from sun exposure.

Glow on the Go
For instant radiance, try a blotter paper booklet filled with pages pressed with blush and highlighting powder. Simply tear out a page and rub on areas where the light naturally hits. Use the reverse side to blot excess oil.

What do you use to streamline your routine? Tell us your favorite time savers!

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Timeless Age Defying Beauty Tips

Charlize Theron

taniavolobueva / Shutterstock.com

Ah, Hollywood’s timeless age-defying beauties! The women who have seen it all, done it all, and lived to tell about it, five marriages and ten grandchildren later. The Christie Brinkleys who proudly pose with their grown daughters on the beach with barely a discernible age difference to be found! The Jane Fondas who can still wear the psychedelic space bikinis from their Barbarella days! The Heidi Klums who can still play a mean guitar in their underwear! How do they do it? While that info may be known only to the stars themselves, there are some tips you can follow for achieving your own timeless age-defying beauty.

Makeup

Base
A high-quality primer will camouflage fine lines and prevent makeup from creasing. Try one with an SPF for sun protection and added anti-aging benefits. When it comes to foundation, pick one tailored to mature skin and apply with your fingers, using a moist makeup sponge to avoid a caked-on appearance. If foundation is not your thing, try a light concealer to hide under eye circles and blemishes. Concealer with yellow tones are best for balancing redness and brightening.

If you have noticed the color in your cheeks decreasing as a result of age, you may want to add some blusher. Creams have to benefit of allowing you to gradually increase color, while powders last longer. Bronzers and highlighters can also help to create a youthful look, but try to avoid glittery formulas. Instead, look for finely milled products that build up to create a light sheen.

Jane Fonda

Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com

Eyes and Brows
Eyebrows grow sparse over time, so fuller brows can create a younger appearance, but try to avoid overdoing it with the brow pencil, which can look harsh. You’re better off gently filling out brows with a matching powder and blush for a subtle touch.

Spidery lashes will also add years. When it comes to mascara application, apply just one coat and then wiggle the brush at the lash base to add definition and volume.

If reading glasses are among your daily accessories, be aware that they can magnify eye makeup imperfections. Avoid this by trading in your severe liquid liner for a more forgiving, softer kohl pencil. In addition, be wary of bright eyeshadows which can smudge and smear during the day. this can be avoided by using a primer formulated for the eyes. Use a q-tip moistened with makeup remover to mop up the excess.

Lips
While strong lipstick can bring color to your face, it also tends to bleed into the fine lines around your mouth. You can prevent this by using a good lipliner around the corners of the mouth and cupid’s bow.

Although matte lipsticks are popular, glossy finishes tend to be more flattering and create the illusion of fuller lips. The best way to achieve a natural look is the find a shade of pink that matches the color of the inside of your bottom lip; your perfect neutral.

Halle Berry

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Daily Advice

Beauty Sleep
No matter what new products and procedures come out, it seems that sleep is always number one on the list of anti-agers. Try and get 8-10 hours every night. Also, try to sleep on your back or side with a pillow propped under your ear, as sleeping with your face against the pillows can cause “sleep lines” with may evolve into wrinkles.

Fruits and Veggies
Antioxidant-rich diets are a known component in the prevention of disease and premature aging. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene, which fight free radicals that attack cell membranes. They also protect the nervous system, the immune system, and prevent the brain from oxidative damage leading to memory loss.

How do you achieve your timeless beauty? We want in on your secrets! Let us know!

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